The initial Touch exhibition was a solo showing of work developed during my year at ACAD as the Visiting Artist in 2011-2012. The exhibition was in partnership with Theo Simms ‘Candahar’ piece, with the intention to further facilitate audience engagement with my work. I invited the audience to participate both physically and intellectually with my work by setting up the exhibition in such a way that in order to eat and drink at the opening reception, participants had to choose pieces (cups and plates) directly from the wall installation. The work was installed in the Illingworth Kerr gallery adjacent to the Candahar and the exhibition lasted the length of the opening reception.

As a potter it was exciting to have an event that facilitated the engagement of what the work is really about – utility. It served as a contradiction to the typical pedestal or plinth installation that discourages the audience from touching the work. This typical presentation of work negates all the pain staking time taken in the studio pining over concerns of design, utility and aesthetics. Whereas the Touch event was exciting as people were licking their plates, discussing why they chose which one they did, even the aftermath of the event had a certain aesthetic appeal. Imagine the “white cube” gallery setting with shelves half full and the plates on the wall picked over.